Cover Image: The Blitz Bus

The Blitz Bus

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Member Reviews

This book is definitely recommended for middle grade readers in the UK, and for others, if and when they learn about WWII. The story is told about 2 kids who are learning about WWII in school, and when they get on a red bus, they are somehow transported back in time to when The Blitz has occurred. They meet children who were moved from their homes to new families to try and keep them safe, and experience what life was like during that time, as they try to find their way home.

Last year I read Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah, and that was the first time I heard about the children being sent away from their families to try and stay safe. Had I not read that, then this book would have been confusing for me. The ending is very abrupt though - I do wish that there was a bit more to it in order to see what each child learned. This would be a great companion piece to a project about WWII.
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What better way for kids to learn what it was really like to experience a challenging period in history than to transport them to that time? (okay, I realize that this would be a horrible idea for certain times or for us to do it en masse)

Emmie and Jack get to experience what the WWII blitz was like firsthand. From scurrying to find an underground shelter, to kids being shipped out from other countries for their safety to live with strangers and still be in a different sort of danger, to finding food when most ingredients are rationed and more, these two learn about it and live it.

Well done!
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This was a very cute book. Obviously, the cover is very pretty, so that's what got me into it, as well as the travelling back in time aspect. 

I think this would be perfect for kids in primary school. It was a really, really fast read. It's not complicated, it's very easy to follow, as you can imagine the language isn't too complex.

I liked that historical facts were mixed into the story.

Overall, it was enjoyable.
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A good story via NetGalley for older children about two twelve year olds who are taking the bus home from school when they are sent back to 1940. They had been studying 1940 in school at the time. They meet two boys from Poland who were sent to England to keep them safe. How to get home is on their mind as they make it by day to day with the bombings and lack of food availability.
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I didn't realize at the beginning that this was aimed at primary school children but it still made for a very enjoyable read. Based in London 1940 the wording in all ways was very good. Giving the real feel of that period in time. Children should learn a great deal from this novel. I must admit that the ending was rather quick but then I think it had to be. As an ageing adult I found this a very interesting read without it being hard to understand and I am sure hat children would have the same feeling about this and it certainly gives the right vibes of the period.  Any history teacher who teaches the primary years would find this a valuable piece to add to there lessons.  Well done, very well written and well worth 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this eARC
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I love reading children's historical novels and this one didn't disappoint. A lovelytimeslip historical fiction story for children. Bringing to life, the historical facts that faced the people living in London during WW2. When two friends are finding it tricky to understand in their history lessons, how life really was during WW2, they get transported in a London bus back to wartime. There they find fitting in difficult and at first can't believe it has happened. Emotions run high. Making friends with two children from Poland, trying to fit in as well, they find themselves not only understanding how people coped but also eventually finding how keeping up moral and being positive is the best way forward.

A great insight for children into the sights, feelings and nostalgia of WW2 from the perspective of the younger generation.
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An enjoyable read, aimed at 9-13 year olds, I would say. It’s based around the London Blitz in WW2 abs whilst being enjoyable time travel fiction it’s also educational for that age group, inviting the reader to understand what the Blitz meant for Londoners. 
Lovely book cover too, very inviting.
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An enjoyable time travel story set in London in the present day and the 1940’s. 
Accurate historical detail and an exciting plot involving evacuees, spies, police chases, air-raids and bomb-shelters. Simply written, it would appeal to readers aged 9-12. I could certainly see myself using this in class as part of a unit on “Life during WW2”.
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Thank you to the author, BooksGoSocial and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book combines London in WWII and time travel - which sounds an unlikely pairing, but it's so well done that middle grade children will find this a great read. Starting from the present day, and jumping back into London in 1940, the book has well-researched descriptions and brings in aspects that will appeal to children, making history real to them, while at the same time injecting a sombre note into what were terribly difficult times. I loved the way the author used the characters Jan and Stan to introduce the Kindertransport and show how important giving others safe refuge is. Highly recommend!
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Jack and Emmie are struggling to visualise what life would have actually been like during World War 2, for a school project. When they find themselves somehow trapped in war-torn London in 1940, they are confused and unsure how to survive, and more importantly get home again. They meet Jan, who came to England on the kindertransport, and many curriculum topics are touched on, such as bombings, rationing, air raids, spies etc. 
I think some children would enjoy the book, but as an adult I found myself skim-reading to get to the end. Sometimes the story would jump in time without ever filling in the blanks eg suddenly it would say “the next afternoon” with no mention of what happened in the intervening time. 
All in all, could be interesting for a child studying world war 2, but there are many similar options out there too.
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First off, thank you @netgalley and @gblackwellbooks for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this lovely book! The book is due to be published in two days time, September 07, 2021.

This is my first book ever in the time travel genre, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it even though it is aimed for younger readers. I found myself engrossed in the historical elements of it, I am not particularly learned about World War history, so this simplified version really tweaked my interest, I might even seek out other books set during those times. 

The writing style is simple but engaging with the right hint of poignancy and excitement. I couldnt help feeling a deep sense of anxiety for the children; for Jack and Emmie stuck in the past and for Jan who fled home because of war. Every time Jan mentions lugging his gas-mask around everywhere, I felt a jolt of emotion I cannot explain. The sheer terror or trying to hold on to normalcy in the middle of a war torn world is something I cannot imagine. This book will surely help readers empathize with the countless refugees and refugee children scattered all over the globe, who are trying to claim a little place for themselves in a world where they constantly labeled as strangers. 

I would definitely recommend this book to children and adults alike. It's a fun, thrilling ride through time, scattered with relevant historical facts that could teach us a thing or two about kindness and tolerance.
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Very enjoyable read! The time of the Blitz in London is a special interest of mine, and this one did not disappoint. Full of interesting, and often sad, details about civilian life during WW2, but not so graphic as to make this a Y.A. book. Perfect for introducing middle-grade readers to the subject of WW2.
**I received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are strictly my own. Thanks, Netgalley!**
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I love children’s historical fiction and was delighted when I received a copy of Glen Blackwell’s new book. As a primary school teacher I have read many quality children’s books set during the second world war; Once, Goodnight Mister Tom, Letters from the Lighthouse, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Umbrella Mouse and Our Castle by the Sea are all superb and explore various aspects and experiences of World War 2. All of the aforementioned are must reads and I can now add The Blitz Bus to that list of wonderful wartime stories.

The Blitz Bus is the story of two children, Jack and Emmie, who inexplicably find themselves transported back to London, 1940, on their way home from school. At first they are convinced they have inadvertently stepped into a film set but then the bombs start falling, they attract the attention of the authorities, have to seek safety in the underground and it quickly becomes apparent that this is most definitely their new reality. Along with new friend Jan - a polish refugee - they must work to uncover the identity of a potential spy and try to find a way to get back home.

The Blitz Bus is a thrilling wartime adventure that explores the Blitz through the eyes of children and it makes for a very enjoyable and educational read. For a historical wartime read, the whole idea for the book is unique and original and I love the concept. At school, both Jack and Emmie are struggling to properly imagine what life would have been like during World War 2 so what better way to understand it than to experience it for themselves.

Finding themselves in 1940’s London the children are surrounded by a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar. London is being bombed, people seek shelter in air-raid shelters, food is rationed and every day is a battle to survive. The story-telling is peppered with historical facts and Blackwell’s well-researched and accurate descriptions immerse readers into wartime London, it is easy to imagine what it would have been like which is exactly what children need unless they plan on sneaking a ride on the Blitz Bus.

In their search to get back home, Emmie and Jack meet two young polish children, Jan and Stan, who have travelled to England via the Kindertransport system in the hope of finding safe refuge from the German army. Jan and Stan's personal stories add another welcome historical element to the narrative and as the friendship develops between the children from the past and the present, emotional conversations shed light on the experiences of wartime refugees and the struggles and challenges they faced at being in an unfamiliar country and far from home. I really enjoyed this aspect of the narrative as these are important stories that need to be heard.

The Blitz Bus is a very accessible read that I raced through in a very enjoyable morning. I would highly recommend to children in upper key stage two, it would be an excellent book to read when studying World War 2.

With huge thanks to Glen Blackwell and Zoetrope for my copy of this brilliant wartime read.

Recommended for 9+.
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With thanks to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an early copy in return for an honest review.

This book represents why I like historical fiction so much. These stories bring historical events to life in a way that a textbook simply can't, and make it relatable. As you travel back in time with Jack and Emmie, students can begin to learn about the air raids of World War 2, the Kindertransport, and the impact World War 2 had on London/England. I think this book could also be a good launch pad for a STEM lesson as kids could learn more about building radios. 

If you have readers who have enjoyed Magic Treehouse books, this is another great option for them as they get a bit older.
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Okay, so, I feel like I'm not the right audience for this book because I couldn't truly enjoy it. 

This is a historical fiction for children, about a couple of kids who accidentally traveled back to World War II situation in London. Throughout the book we followed their adventure trying to go back to the future while making some new friends too. I think children will like this book because its simple yet interesting. The friendships between the characters was pretty heartwarming, tho. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley for this ARC!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Modern day Jack is struggling to relate to the history of WWII.  So often people of all ages think all history is nothing but a litany of dates and facts.  They cannot grasp that it is the story of people, not unlike themselves, living in very different times.  Someone, someday, may be reading a book about what they are experiencing right now.  For me, that is the beauty and the pathos of history.  This book is a wonderful story of how that we learn more by being able to put ourselves into the story than we can by dry reading.

For Jack and Emmie, the opportunity to do this is thrust upon them unwillingly.  They get off a bus and walk into London, 1940, during the Blitz.  Many of the children who were born in London had been transported to safer locations but the refugees from war-torn Europe arrive in the city under fire.  Before they know it they are swept into the Bethnal Green Tube station during a raid.  They experience the fear, despair and the depreciations first hand.  Using their wits, they are able to survive and avoid capture until they can figure out a way to return to their time.  Of great interest to me was the choice of the tube station as it was the scene of a great disaster later in the war.

Before the two children can return the lessons continue.  They meet two very different Polish refugees who, through them, find the first true friends they have made since coming to England.  By the time Jack and Emmie wave goodbye to Jan and Stan, they know the two lonely boys will support each other after they leave.  

The book tells the story of the lives of everyday people during the Blitz.  I have done  a lot of reading and study on the Blitz.  The story is  a perfect way to educate subtlety through the eyes of two children.  It is easy to read and understand.  I would recommend it to the young reader who likes adventure stories set in the past.  It is both informative and entertaining.  Five purrs and two paws up.
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The cover is what hooked me for this book. The author articulately brings in historical fiction into this kids book and does so well with it. It was an enchanting read and I cannot wait to share it with kids I work with.
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A very evocative story of two children who are transported back to 1940 and the challenges that they find, mainly to just survive without a family.  They meet two polish refugees and begin to learn more about the realities of the blitz, rather than the sanitized version they have seen in books and school..  This makes for a really good introduction to the subject and dos not shy away from many of the harsh realities of life.  Of course, their major concern is whether they will ever see their homes and families again.
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A great introduction for KS2 Primary school children and older to learn about some of what happened during the 2nd World War and the impact on families and children in Europe at this time.  
Opened up to lots of family discussions (Rations / child transportation/ Air Raids / RAF / Bombings ) and held the kids interest throughout.  Only surprise was the ending seemed quite abrupt and think the children were looking for more of a tighter closing to the story.  I loved the final pages explaining interesting facts about Bethnal Green Tube station and about the children transportation across Europe before WW2 started.
A great story of time travel back to 1940 following Jack and Emmie on how they survive and discovering new friends whilst trying to understand how they can get back to the current time.
Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) from NetGalley
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What a quirky little book. Was so lovely to be involved with them getting on tje bus and being transported back in time instead of like tje majority of book taking you to the future
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